Airbnb offering split payments for some hosts?

I was just browsing other listings on Air to see who else was available on certain dates, and found that an owner with a listing similar to mine was able to offer split payments:

Right under the total of the breakdown of fees was this:

“Book this for $756 now
Pay the rest later. Learn more”

and when you click on “Learn more”, this was the info:

“Pay less upfront
When you use a credit card or PayPal to book an eligible reservation, you’ll have the option to pay part of the total now, and the remaining amount closer to the check-in date.
You won’t be charged additional fees for choosing this option.
What happens on the day of my second payment?
No action is required from you. On the second payment due date, we’ll automatically charge the payment method you used to reserve the booking for the initial payment.
If there are any problems with this payment, we’ll send you an email update. If we are unable to collect the remaining balance, we will cancel the reservation on your behalf and you will be refunded based on the host’s cancellation policy.”

As far as I knew, Air did not offer split payments, in fact I have just signed up with VRBO specifically to offer one guest this facility as she did not want to pay the whole amount up front.

The only difference I can see between my listing and this one is that I have a Strict cancellation policy, and the one I was looking at is Flexible.

Has anyone else come across this? I will be asking Air tomorrow what gives.

Meh, doesn’t really affect us, then… we only get paid the day after check-in, which is when the guest would’ve paid the full amount anyway.

It does…because what if the second payment doesn’t go through? Who eats it? The gust already has your address,and information at that point so they will probably plan to come whether they paid the whole thing or not.

I imagine hosts who sign up for this program recognize the risk of only getting half the payment in the event of cancellation or non-payment. It’s in between a strict and moderate cancellation policy, really.

In terms of a guest showing up anyway… then my understanding is that it’s trespassing, so unless they want to deal with the police then it’s probably not something they’ll do. I personally wouldn’t worry about this happening.

But as to why Air offers this to some hosts and not others, that I don’t know.

I could be wrong, but I thought a host posted here who suddenly found this option on his or her own listing without their knowledge? Maybe it’s something they are testing. You can see why they are doing it though, as it’s something the competitors offer.

No sign up. I saw it on my listing yesterday.

I think it’s a policy they’re rolling out across the whole of airbnb.
Hosts don’t opt into it, as it doesn’t affect us - rather it affects airbnb and how much cash they are collecting at time of booking and how much later.
Either way, by the time guest arrives they have already paid in full.
I have not looked into it, but it may be that the time the guest is expected to complete payment is linked to your cancellation policy periods.

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What type of cancellation policy do you have? I want to see if my theory is correct that this is only offered to hosts with flexible cancellation.

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Yup. Flexible! Considering changing it…

I have always had this option with VRBO/ HomeAway but only use it for week or longer stays when people are paying thousands of dollars and for stays that are very far in advance. I have never had a problem and it stops Airbnb from holding people’s money for long periods of time. Since the payment goes through automatically they just send you a notice when it is charged. If the credit card is not valid anymore I would say the stay may be cancelled and depending on your cancellation policy (mine is strict) the guest will lose their money.

Knowing Air though, they would just refund the first half to the guest and the host would lose everything.

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Bingo!!

The second payment will take place right before the “full refund” policy runs out. Traveler loses no service fee or anything. Owner had their calendar blocked for months with no compensation when everything is “automatically” cancelled.

I’m on moderate policy!
Basically I think it works on any policy with the catch being that the final payment comes on the date before the last date when the guest could get a full refund as per whatever applicable policy is in place whether moderate, flexible or strict!

I am not sure this is the case. I have a strict policy and I am within 30 days of the stay and I needed to send a request for an extra fee for an extra parking pass and it says that I can’t send the request because the reservation has not been paid.

Hi Kona,
I received a guest cancellation email last week. I figured he just changed his mind since it’s over the 4th. I did not know there was a “pay rest later” option and his card declined the second payment. He contacted me asking me why his reservation was canceled, I had no idea.
We both contacted Airbnb and he had to rebook (I was able to get rebooked but at a lower rate) so I couldn’t accommodate him.

Airbnb told him that it’s up to me if I want to provide a refund (strict policy). Why even give the guest that option? A policy is there for a reason!
The guest apparently didn’t check his email etc. etc. I feel bad for him and even found other places for him to stay. With the “refund” money and new reservation I am even.

Any suggestions?

Do not refund! …

you do not really see this from the host point of view. AirBnB take care about that automatically